Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Acting Director of Service-Learning

Eckerd College
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

porterrk@eckerd.edu

toll-free: 800-456-9009
local: 727-864-7512

Service-Learning

Service Learning

Guatemala: Spring Break '10

Guatemala

View photos from Guatemala

Eleven students along with ECOS President Lauren DeLalla'11 and staff member Makenzie Schiemann traveled to Guatemala to perform service work at Comunidad Nueva Alianza. Comunidad Nueva Alianza is an organic coffee and macadamia plantation owned and operated by a cooperative of forty Guatemalan families, located in a sub-tropical area 1000 meters above sea level and 45 minutes north of the coastal town of Retalhuleu.

While at Alianza, the group assisted in furthering the farm's ecotourism program. An average day for the group consisted of waking up to the sunrise on the roof, roosters crowing, and cooking breakfast on the wood-burning stove. The work day began early as the group assisted in various tasks around the farm. One day was spent performing trail repair and another harvesting macadamia. The group's largest contribution was the amount of time and labor spent repainting Alianza's Eco-Hostel. The Eco-Hostel is the main source of tourism, education, and income for Alianza and was unfortunately falling into disrepair. Thanks to the group's efforts, the Eco-Hostel has now been weatherproofed, repainted, and repaired with cement; allowing Alianza to use the Hostel to benefit the mission of their program for many years to come.

In addition to the labor performed at Alianza the group also spent time playing soccer with the families and participating in the Holy Week of Semana Santa. Several group members also enjoyed their time with the Guatemalan women learning to make tortillas, tamales, and posadas.

To wrap up the week, the group spent the weekend of Easter in Antigua, a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Mudéjar-influenced Baroque architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches. While in Antigua the group visited the churches, the local market and experienced the largely celebrated Semana Santa parade. As a final challenge, the group took part in a night climb of Pacaya, an active volcano which has been erupting for 23,000 years. Although the group gave their time and service, they ended up bringing back vast knowledge about coffee production, eco-tourism and the culture of rural Guatemala.

View photos from Guatemala

Reflective Service-Learning Portfolio

Triton Track

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Volunteer with Academy Prep

Academy Prep is a unique private middle school program serving 5th through 8th grade students in a low-income area. Students must qualify for need-based scholarships to attend and must have a desire to succeed in a rigorous academic environment. Academy Prep works with students to prepare them for higher education, maintaining relationships with graduates through high school, college, and into their adult lives.

YMCA Reads

Volunteer Mentors Needed

YMCA Reads! is an after-school reading assistance and mentoring program providing opportunities for at-risk and low-income children in kindergarten through third grade to develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

Notes from the Field

Servant Leaders blog
Service-Learning Interns blog
The service-learning student interns are increasing service involvement at Eckerd, becoming successful service leaders and helping students create a community around the values and challenges of servant-leadership.

Service Learning Profiles

Alumni Profiles

Read individual profiles of how involvement with Eckerd Service-Learning changed the lives of current students and alumni.  Learn more.